Dilip Kumar

Once she had rosy dreams of building the future of innocent children through education, but little did she know that her destiny had other plans.

Meet Bhubaneswar resident Smrutirekha Behera. A graduate in Political Science, she used to eke out her living by teaching at a play and nursery school.    

She was living a happy life with her husband and in-laws at Pathabandha slum in the city. Everything seemed perfect in her life until the pandemic struck. 

Time played spoilsport in her happy life as in came the Covid 19 wrecking havoc on lives and livelihood across the world. 

Her school was closed due to restrictions in classroom teaching following unprecedented surge in the virus cases. 

The situation forced her to switch her profession. With no other way left, she had to work with the local civic body’s sanitation programme.

Smrutirekha is currently driving BMC’s garbage vehicle- Mun Safaiwala- which collects municipal solid wastes and transports it to dump yard. 

Smrutirekha Behera

On her drastic turn of fate, a sad yet proud Smrutirekha however also expresses gratitude to her fate.

Smrutirekha explains how she had learnt four-wheeler out of her passion but had no idea that her passion would pay her off in the times when she needed it the most.

She never hesitates to work as a sanitation worker because she respects duty. 
“Being a qualified person, I opted for this work. Because, I have to go ahead,” she said.

Her husband was working with a finance company and earned handsome amount. He also lost job after his company was largely impacted by the pandemic.

Smrutirekha opted to work with BMC after income of her family was hit hard.

“I had never expected that her passion to drive would bring a job for her during a time of need,” her husband said.